Who is the Most Popular Sailor Moon Character Now?

There can only be one...!

There can only be one…!

One of the really interesting things about taking a look back at a series that goes back as far as Sailor Moon and yet has still maintained a significant level of popularity today is that, while the characters have stayed (mostly?) the same, society’s values have changed around them.

What that means is that some characters who spoke to a generation back in the 90s may have less to say now as we face different problems. And, of course, the reverse is true as well.

While I’ve already talked at length about the Sailor Soldiers’ (and even the villains!) popularity back in the 90s, today I’d like to talk about how that’s changed and where we stand today.

I hope you like numbers, ’cause it’s gonna be a number-crunching kind of day!

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How Were Haruka and Michiru’s VAs Told to Portray Their Characters?

Masako Katsuki and Megumi Ogata

Masako Katsuki and Megumi Ogata

Though the arguments have mostly settled down in recent years, discussions over the nature of Haruka and Michiru’s relationship was, at one time, one of the most hotly contested debates in the nascent days of the North American Sailor Moon fandom.

Today, we’re going to take a look at an interview conducted with Megumi Ogata and Masako Katsuki, voice actresses for Haruka Tenoh and Michiru Kaioh respective, and see how they approached figuratively, and literally, breathing life into their characters.

I hope you stick around!

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What Do the Lines on the Sailor Senshi’s Collars Signify?

One of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other…

If you’re anything like me – and I’m not really sure if that’d be a good thing or a bad thing – it’s entirely possible that you didn’t even notice that there was a difference in the lines in the collar on each of the Sailor Soldiers’ uniforms. In fact, I didn’t even really notice until multiple years after I first became acquainted with Sailor Moon, and that’s only because someone pointed it out.

Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at one of the smaller details on the uniforms worn by our favorite sailor-suited soldiers of love and justice. I hope you join along!

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Why Doesn’t Setsuna / Sailor Pluto’s Story Make Any Sense?

Setsuna's back story confuses even herself

Setsuna’s back story confuses even herself

Considering how I constantly talk about how Setsuna simply serves as a third wheel to Haruka and Michiru, it may comes as something of a surprise that she’s one of my favorite characters… in theory. The idea of a single Sailor Soldier surviving all the way from(and possibly prior to?) the Silver Millennium is a fascinating concept — even more so when you think about the emotional hardship she must have gone through living all on her own for centuries at a time.

Sadly, in stark contrast with this vast amount of potential her character had, neither the anime nor manga did much with Setsuna. And what they did do didn’t even make sense.

Today, we’re going to talk about how utterly non-sensical Setsuna’s university education is.

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Why Does Sailor Pluto Look Different From the Rest?

Sailor Pluto looks a little... hmm.

Sailor Pluto looks a little… hmm.

Take a look at any lineup of the Sailor Soldiers and you’ll undoubtedly notice that, well… Setsuna – Sailor Pluto – tends to stand out just a bit from the other members of the Sailor Team. But just why is that?

One of the theories I’ve seen thrown around a lot is that Sailor Pluto isn’t Japanese, and that is why she differs in appearance from the rest of the cast. Well, today we’ll take a look at this question and more, and see what Ms. Takeuchi and the world of Sailor Moon can tell us about the Sailor Soldier of Time!

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Why Didn’t Megumi Ogata Sing Sailor Uranus’ Song, Initial U?

Sailor Uranus transformation

Sailor Uranus transformation

When I was first getting into anime, the concept of “character songs” (or sometimes known as “image songs”) was something that was a little hard to wrap my mind around. They’re essentially songs written from the character’s point of view and performed in character. If done right, if gives you further insight into the character in a way that you don’t often hear them express themselves.

If done wrong…? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Join along for a trip down memory lane as we discuss what went wrong with Initial U!

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Is Sailor Saturn a Member of the Outer Senshi?

Are there too many members here?

Are there too many members here?

The interesting, and seemingly inaccurate, breakdown of the two teams of Sailor Soldiers is definitely an interesting issue that I don’t feel gets discussed as much as it deserves to. Obviously from where we stand at the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Sailor Moon there are many answers that we could provide, but I’d rather take a look in how the teams formed in the first place.

Join me along for a look back into how the Inner and Outer senshi teams were formed in the first place, and where Sailor Saturn fits into that mess.

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How Many Sailor Senshi Are There in the Sailor Moon Universe?

Sailor Soldiers Assemble!

Sailor Soldiers Assemble!

It’s amazing how stupid this question sounds on the surface, but when you stop and get down to it, it’s actually a lot harder than you’d think to count all of the canonical Sailor Soldiers. The biggest impacting factor on answering this question is your imagination what you’re willing to consider canon in the Sailor Moon universe.

As much as I’d love to write a long intro and drag this out, we’ve got a lot of discussion ahead of us, so let’s get this started!

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Do Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna’s Names Refer Back to Usagi?

Our names mean WHAT??

Our names mean WHAT??

Names are something I’ve talked about at length in this blog, from those of the main cast down to the lowly monsters of the day, and odds are good that this is something I will continue to talk about for a long time to come.

Today, we’ll be taking a look into the some possible inspirations behind the names of our favorite Outer Soldiers. Why don’t you come along for the ride?

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How Old Was Usagi’s Mother, Ikuko?

Don't ever ask a woman's age...

Don’t ever ask a woman’s age…

In a series like Sailor Moon which has given us so much trouble when it comes to trying to sort out the time line, it’s refreshing to finally be able to take on a question regarding an age which can actually be answered (… within reason) for once. So just how old is Ikuko Tsukino and – by extension – how old was she when she gave birth to Usagi?

Ikuko is, as implied by her name,1 the quintessential caring mother who isn’t afraid of engaging in a little bit of tough-love in order to get Usagi to actually get around to taking studying seriously. Also implied in her name is the Japanese concept of 教育ママ (kyouiku mama; a mother focused on scholastic achievement), a term which has been around in Japanese culture since at least the 1960s,2 though the concept may be more familiar in the west as a “tiger mother” as popularized in Amy Chua’s book by the same name.3

Usagi's growing up!

Usagi’s growing up!

As for her age, according to an offhand remark Ikuko makes in the manga, we can definitively say that she is 36 years old as of the Sailor Stars arc.4 Similarly, she makes a remark in the anime which puts her age at around her “later 30s,”5 so I would say it’s pretty safe to place her at 36 in both versions of Sailor Moon.

If she’s 36 years old when Usagi is first entering high school (and figuring that Usagi is 16 years old at that time), that would put her at around 20 years old when Usagi was born. And I bet you thought Usagi was young when she had ChibiUsa! In 1977, when Usagi was presumably born,6 the average age at the time of first marriage was 27 and 25 for men and women, respectively. As a point of comparison, those numbers are now 31 for men and 29 for women.7

What this does mean, though, is that Ikuko probably did not go to university, though that wasn’t so uncommon in those days. Back in 1977, only around 13% of Japanese women actually went to a four-year university, which is the same rate as that for Japanese men in 1955!8 This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it might be an additional reason behind Ikuko’s motivation for pushing Usagi to study hard (and since Usagi became the Neo Queen of Crystal Tokyo at 22, she very well could have gone to university).

Ikuko and six year old Usagi

Ikuko and six year old Usagi

What’s most interesting for me about all of this is that it shows that Usagi’s family is actually on the younger end of the scale, meaning that Ikuko would probably be a fair bit younger than the parents of all the other Sailor Soldiers (well, except Makoto’s…). From the point of view of education, it also nicely emphasizes exactly how impressive and rare it would have been for Ami’s mother to have been attending medical school at that time!

I really do which that we knew more about the family lives of the other members of the Sailor Team, but I guess I should be happy that at the very least the Tsukino’s were fleshed out as much as they were. I’d love to know just how much of their personalities were actually based on the members of Ms. Takeuchi’s family!

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